Pink Floyd’s tenth studio album, ‘Animals’ was released in the US today, 42 years ago. Reaching No.3 in the charts in no time, the album’s cover includes a pig floating between chimneys on Battersea Power Station. Bassist, Roger Waters was the mind behind this concept and was realised by Hipgnosis, the band’s long-time design and photographic collaborators. The album, one of Pink Floyd’s most progressive studio LPs, was not played on classic rock radio as frequently as its predecessors. Although the album is only spread across five tracks, the record runs a compact 40 minutes and results in songs that stretch from 17 to 10 minutes. Compositionally, no keyboard or guitar solo is wasted and the band sticks to their spacey, psychedelic character. Given the distressed political time, the band’s response to the punk rock movement left a distinct imprint on the musical landscape since 1977. The second part of ‘Pigs on the Wing’ sums up the overall motif of the album which reminds fans that optimism is no substitute for challenging the power structures that put us into boxes.
Pink Floyd started their sessions for their next album ‘Wish You Were Here’ today at Abbey Road Studios, London, 1975. This was their ninth album and was released on September 12th 1975. ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’, features on this album. The song served as a tribute to Syd Barret who left the band seven years earlier due to a mental breakdown. The album topped record charts in both the US and UK and EMI was unable to meet demand and print enough copies. It appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of ‘The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time’ even after initially receiving mixed reviews. Both David Gilmour and Richard Wright cited the album as their favourite Pink Floyd album.
David Gilmour returned to ancient Italian city’s millennia-old amphitheatre in Pompeii in 2016 for a brilliant two-night stand almost 50 years after Pink Floyd played before an audience of ghosts in the empty amphitheatre. The amphitheatre was once razed and buried by the volcano Vesuvius. Gilmour’s performance featured songs from his recent solo LP, Rattle That Lock, and a selection of Pink Floyd classics playing for only a couple thousand concertgoers. The show was complete with pyrotechnics and circular projection screen and it was the first time an audience had watched any performance in the amphitheatre since Roman times. This performance was all part of Gilmour’s vision to create out-of-this-world experiences for his fans and the pressure was heavy as he had a unique history there. Before the show, Gilmour stated that the one original Pompeii song he absolutely would not perform was “Echoes,” as their band’s late keyboardist, Rick Wright, would be the only one willing to complete the song and instead included tributes to Wright, who played in Gilmour’s solo band in 2006, in the set.